Some people have felt that the September 2022 announcement that the Jay paper mill, which was damaged by a 2020 explosion, was to close for good would be the final nail in the coffin for the paper industry in Maine.  Now, it appears this may not be the case.

According to WMTW, Sappi, the South African company that owns the Somerset Mill in Skowhegan, announced record profits on Thursday.  This announcement is great news for Central Maine.

Because of how well the company is doing, they are planning to do some major upgrades to the Skowhegan mill.

The WMTW article explains that the company plans to spend over $400 million to convert the Somerset Mill's Number 2 paper machine to make specialty papers.  Once the conversation is done, that machine will go from making coated wood free graphic paper to solid bleached sulphate board.  Because of the demand for that type of paper, the output amount of the machine will increase dramatically.  Basically, it will double from 240,000 tons per year to 470,000 tons per year.

The hope is that the updates and modifications will be done by early 2025.

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